When to Get My Kid a Phone: Navigating the Tensions
Determining when to get your child a smartphone is a complicated yet critical decision. Parents today are facing new challenges as technology and our children’s access to it gives rise to new worries and concerns. Thoughtful parents wonder how to steward technology well and protect their children from potential pitfalls. When is the right time to give your child access to such powerful tools?
Pastor and author Drew Hill encourages parents that instead of being controlled by fear and forbidding access to all electronic devices, moms and dads can use this question to propel them into deeper relationships with their children. As they navigate important questions of teaching responsibility and guarding against potential dangers, parents are invited to view phone usage as a gradual training process much like their child learning to drive a car. Ultimately, this journey of shepherding a child’s personal phone usage is a picture of the overall goal of parenting—prayerfully preparing to one day release children into the adult world and trust that they have a good forever Father watching over them.
Drew Hill, MDiv, is a pastor in Greensboro, North Carolina, and also works with Young Life. Drew is author of the award-winning youth resource, Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel and also blogs at younglifeleaders.org. He and his wife, Natalie, have three children: Honey, Hutch, and Macy Heart.